Bites & Stings

The majority of insect bites and stings aren’t serious, but they can be unpleasant and sore.read moreSee less

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Frequently Asked Questions

Start by removing the sting if it’s still in the skin, then wash the area with soap and water.

 

Apply a cold compress or an ice pack to any swelling for at least 10 minutes and, if possible, raise the affected area to reduce swelling.

 

Avoid scratching the area or bursting any blisters to reduce the risk of infection and apply an insect bite cream to relieve itching.

Insect bite creams typically contain a type of medicine called an antihistamine, which works by blocking a substance called histamine that is produced during an allergic reaction.

 

You can also try hydrocortisone cream, a topical treatment that is classed as a corticosteroid and works to relieve pain and swelling.

 

If your bite is infected, you will need to see a doctor so they can prescribe a suitable antibiotic to treat the infection.

Most insect bites and stings won’t be serious, but if you’re experiencing lots of swelling and blistering, or if you notice pus, you should seek medical advice.

 

Phone 999 if you have any of the following symptoms following a bite or sting:

 

  • - Wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • - Nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
  • - A fast heart rate
  • - Dizziness or feeling faint
  • - Difficulty swallowing
  • - Confusion, anxiety or agitation

Antiseptic cream is an important part of a first aid kit.

 

It’s used to soothe and heal wounds, and it protects against infection when you’ve had a cut, graze, burn, insect bite or any other minor wound.

 

Antiseptics work by weakening the growth of bacteria, not to be confused with an antibiotic, which works by killing bacteria.